Circulating Protein Biomarkers Correlate with Future Risk of Dementia

Researchers here demonstrate a predictive biomarker panel for Alzheimer's disease risk based on protein levels assessed in a blood sample. This is a one of a number of similar tests developed in recent years. The question is what one might do given a measurement that suggests high risk of Alzheimer's disease. At present, the only option is to generally improve lifestyle choices, but Alzheimer's is not as correlated with lifestyle factors as is the case for, say, type 2 diabetes. Based on the suggestion that senescent cells are important to neurodegeneration, one might take senolytic drugs intermittently, a few times a year at most. Based on the evidence for persistent viral infection to be important to the development of Alzheimer's disease, one might choose to take antiviral drugs. Other options are thin on the ground at present.

Scientists used the largest cohort of blood proteomics and dementia to date, including blood samples from 52,645 healthy participants recruited from UK Biobank - a population-based study cohort. Blood samples collected between 2006 and 2010 were frozen and then analysed 10-15 years later by the research team who analysed them between April 2021 and February 2022. Until March 2023, a total of 1,417 participants went on to develop dementia - and these people's blood showed dysregulation of protein biomarkers.

Of 1,463 proteins analysed, aided by with a type of artificial intelligence known as machine learning, 11 proteins were identified and combined as a protein panel, which the researchers have shown to be highly accurate at predicting future dementia. Further incorporation of conventional risk factors of age, sex, education level and genetics, showed for the first time the high accuracy of the predictive model, indicating its potential future use in community-based dementia screening programs.

Proteins (for example Glial Fibrillary acidic protein, GFAP) had previously been identified as potential biomarkers for dementia in smaller studies, but this new research was much larger and conducted over several years. Known as a longitudinal analysis (a study conducted on a sample of participants over a number of years), the researchers were able to show the differences and trajectories between those with dementia and controls across 15 years.



Can anything be done to significantly boost neurogenesis?

Posted by: MattP at February 20th, 2024 7:37 AM
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